Fox News

Largest Paper in New Jersey Calls Chris Christie Out for Losing Touch with Reality

Christie (1)

attribution: None

POLITICUS USA

In the wake of Governor Chris Christie’s (R-NJ) delusional answer to Fox News asking him why 65% of New Jersey voters think he would be a bad president, the editorial board at the Star-Ledger thinks they have finally figured it out.

“The man has lost touch with reality,” they opine.

This can be the only explanation for how Christie still thinks he can win the presidency “when New Jersey is in such rotten shape after his six years in office.” They came to this conclusion after listening to Christie’s answer on Fox.

Christie told Megyn Kelly that New Jersey voters think he would be a terrible president because they love him so much they want him to stay their governor. Christie knows this because some people have said it to him at his town halls.

But the editorial board is not buying this excuse, especially because, as they write, “First, the governor needs to hold more town hall meetings in Democratic districts, and at night when working people can attend. He preaches to elderly and overwhelmingly white audiences, over and over.”

Citing several other polls the Governor might take a glance at if it is reality that he seeks, the editorial board took a few guesses as to why they don’t love Christie in his state:

It could be the rotten job market. Or the high property taxes. Or the crumbling transit system. Or the broken promise on pensions. Or the private jets. Or the Bridgegate indictments. And so on.

Ouch. Lest anyone think this is the opinion of some far left outlet or an obscure paper, Wikipedia says “the Star-Ledger is the largest circulated newspaper in the U.S. state of New Jersey.” In fact, “The Star-Ledger‍ ’​s daily circulation is larger than the next two largest New Jersey newspapers combined and its Sunday circulation is larger than the next three papers combined.”*

This is also the same paper that endorsed him in 2013.

From that same Quinnipiac poll that Megan Kelly referenced on Fox, 56% disapprove of the job Governor Christie is doing, which is the lowest approval rating for any governor in the nine states they surveyed.

Firing a very loud warning shot, the Star-Ledger ended on this note, “God forbid he gets a chance to make an even bigger mess on a larger stage.”

Familiarity has bred contempt when it comes to Chris Christie. Yet he believes he’s going to the White House.

This stunning disconnect with reality, so strong that the largest paper in the state has called it out — though they hope he doesn’t actually believe the things he says, exemplifies the Republican Party’s Fox problem of epistemic closure. They are breeding an entire party of delusional people who have no concept how extreme they sound to the rest of the country, how their belief in Glenn Beckian conspiracies isolates them because they sound crazy and dangerous, and most of all, they have no idea what people are really saying about them or about the issues.

It is very tough to win elections outside of gerrymandered safe zones when you’re party is not even close to reality.

*Wikipedia cites data from the New Jersey Press Association.

~Sarah Jones

Paul Ryan Went On Fox News To Defend Amtrak Safety Funding. It Didn’t Go Well.

Paul Ryan on Fox News Channel

Paul Ryan on Fox News Channel | CREDIT: FOX NEWS

THINK PROGRESS

At least seven people died and 200 were injured in Tuesday’s Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia — even though technology exists that could have prevented the tragedy. A day after his Republican colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines to cut about one-fifth of Amtrak’s budget, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) incorrectly claimed that Congress had already funded implementing the safety system it mandated in 2008.

Positive Train Control (PTC) would allow railroads to use GPS to stop or slow trains in cases of driver emergencies, switches left in the wrong position, hijacking, natural disasters, or other human error. Seven years ago, Congress enacted the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which required the nation’s busiest railroad operators to have these technologies fully in place by December 2015. Though Amtrak’s president has called PTC “the most important rail safety advancement of our time,” the chronicallycash-strapped Amtrak has struggled to put in place its Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES) PTC technology system on the timetable it planned and the section of track where Tuesday’s accident occurred lacks it. The train was reportedly traveling at more than 100 miles per hour in a 50 MPH zone. Robert Sumwalt, the National Transportation Safety Board official leading the investigation into Tuesday’s crash, made clear on Wednesday, “Based on what we know right now, we feel that had such a system been installed on this section of track, this accident would not have occurred.”

Paul Ryan, who has made budget cuts a top priority, warned in a Fox News interview on Thursday that Congress cannot “rush to judgment and try doubling the size of government programs” in response to what he believes was “human error.”

Ryan noted that Congress had already “authorized and mandated the sort of speed control systems to be put in place,” though he noted “it wasn’t put in place here at this time.” Asked by Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade whether Congress had actually funded those systems, Ryan claimed that they had.

“Yes!” Ryan responded, “Yeah, we already passed an Amtrak funding, an authorization bill earlier this year. And the appropriations process is working its way through right now.”

Ryan did not note that this appropriation would be well below Amtrak’s request which had included millions for PTC — and below even the past several years’ funding levels. And if Congress had provided the necessary funds to install PTC across the country, there would be no need for a Senate bill filed just weeks ago to delay the implementation deadline from December 2015 to 2020.

Watch the video:

Ryan said he hoped “cooler heads can prevail” and “people won’t seize on political opportunities out of tragedies like this” to spend more money. Asked whether he thought rebuilding America’s infrastructure should be a priority, Ryan noted that the Highway Trust Fund goes bankrupt later this month but that he would not back tax increases for infrastructure improvement as “we can do better by saving more money [and] being more efficient.”

This Is the Perfect Response to Fox’s Racist Theory About Michelle Obama’s Time at Princeton

MOTHER JONES

Over the weekend, Michelle Obama delivered a passionate, candid commencement speech to the graduating class at Tuskegee University, Alabama, in which she addressed the daily slights of racism she has endured throughout her life. From Saturday’s ceremony:

We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives. The folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety, the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores. The people at formal events who assumed we were the help. And those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country, and I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day.

It was a powerful speech, and naturally, the folks at Fox News were not happy. Fox News contributor Angela McGlowan on Tuesday suggested the speech was yet another example of the White House dividing the country on issues of race, asking, “Why didn’t the first lady share the reason why she got into Princeton was probably because of Affirmative Action?”

“The reason why she became an associate at a law firm was probably because of diversity, they needed a woman—not saying that she wasn’t qualified—but they needed a woman, and a woman of color,” she said.

Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore was not having it. In a segment on the Nightly Show, he fired back: “When a coke-snorting, alcohol-guzzling son of a CIA director DUI’s his way into Yale and ultimately into the Oval Office because his daddy’s was in both places, that’s affirmative action.”

George W., we hope you’re watching.

Watch the full segment HERE

~

 

7 Conservatives Who Surprisingly Have Refused To Stand Behind Pam Geller

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YouTube

TPM MUCKRAKER

For many on the right, this was a no brainer: pundits at Fox News and National Review, as well as blogs like RedState and Hot Air, defended Geller’s event and slammed liberals for supposedly blaming the victim. At best, she was a courageous free speech activist; at worst, a “provocateur.”

For her part, Geller has repeatedly called out “the Left” for caving in to “savages” on the issue of free speech.

But several high profile conservatives have made it clear they don’t think too much of her cartoon contest, either.

Here are seven of the more prominent — and surprising — examples:

Bill O’Reilly

Fox News may be giving Geller more airtime than any other cable news channel in the aftermath of the attack, but not every host considers her a free speech hero like Sean Hannity does.

“Two guys are dead,” O’Reilly said during his show on Monday while sparring with fellow Fox host Megyn Kelly. The host of “The O’Reilly Factor,” who has done his fair share of saber rattling against “radical Islam,” pushed back against Kelly’s defense of Geller.

“It’s always cause and effect,” O’Reilly said. “This is what happens when you light the fuse; you get violence.”

“You sound like you are defending, you are attacking the event itself,” Kelly said.

“No I’m not. I would do it another way,” O’Reilly said.

Bill Donahue

Geller may hold the distinction of being the only person to unite the one-man Catholic League, Bill Donahue, with any secular liberal, on any issue. But Monday night, he took to the airwaves on the Fox News show “Your World with Neil Cavuto” and condemned her cartoon contest unequivocally.

“When you embolden people, when you empower people, the haters, you’re going to get violence,” Donohue said. “And so why would anybody who’s morally responsibly want to intentionally incite other people?”

“We live in a sick society that some people think it’s good to taunt other people,” he added.

Donald Trump

The most straightforward condemnation of Geller came from reality TV star, real estate mogul and wannabe presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“Nobody would fight harder for free speech than me but why taunt, over and over again, in order to provoke possible death to audience,” he tweeted on Monday. “DUMB!”

He also complained about it on “Fox & Friends” and suggested Geller draw something else besides Muhammad.

Geller was asked about Trump’s remarks on Fox; she complained that the Donald “flaps his tongue” too much.

Martha MacCallum

Which brings us to Martha MacCallum, the Fox host who pressed Geller to answer her conservative critics on Tuesday. In response to Trump’s line about “taunting” Muslims, Geller ended up comparing herself to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

MacCallum, who had been nodding along with Geller during earlier portions of the interview, wouldn’t have it.

“No, no, no, where are you getting the Rosa Parks comparison?” MacCallum said. She brought up Donohue and even the Pope, saying, “if you want to make a difference, you do it in a Christian way, you don’t do it in a crass way by insulting someone’s religion.”

By the end of the segment, MacCallum told Geller, “I get where you are coming from. I’m not sure you went about it the right way.”

Rev. Franklin Graham

Perhaps the most surprising contribution was the Rev. Franklin Graham, who called the cartoon contest “wrong.”

“As a Christian, I don’t like it when people mock my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and what this event in Garland, Texas, was doing was mocking the Muslims,” he said Wednesday during an interview on Fox. “And I disagree with Islam, I don’t believe in Islam, but I’m not going to mock them and make fun of them.”

Graham himself has scare-mongered about Muslim infiltration of the White House, and never hesitates to free-associate on, say, whether or not President Barack Obama’s mother was secretly a Muslim.

Greta Van Susteren

Of all the Fox hosts, Van Susteren came down on Geller the hardest, accusing her of luring police into danger by casting aside “good judgment.”

“Yes, of course, there is a First Amendment right and of course it’s very important. But the exercise of that right includes using good judgement,” Van Susteren said on Tuesday evening.

Van Susteren said that “everyone” knew the event would become violent, and that Geller went ahead and put police in jeopardy anyway.

“Was it fair to the police, to knowingly put them at risk by this unnecessary provocation?” she asked. “I say no.”

Laura Ingraham

“There are a lot of things that we can say, that we have a right to say, that we shouldn’t say,”Ingraham told O’Reilly on Tuesday night’s episode of the “The O’Reilly Factor.” “We shouldn’t unnecessarily insult people, personal attacks.”

“To do what was done at this convention,” she said, “it not only doesn’t accomplish anything, I think it could actually make things worse for us.”

Ingraham appeared to realize she was breaking with many on the right over Geller’s antics.

“And I know conservatives watching this across the country are like, ‘I can’t believe Ingraham is coddling the Islamists!’” she said. “No I’m not.”

~BRENDAN JAMES

Fox News Also Responds On Deal With Conservative Writer About Hillary Dirt

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Attribution: none

TPM LiveWire

In a piece on Sunday The New York Times said it, The Washington Post, and Fox News had “exclusive agreements” with Schweizer to “pursue story lines in the book. In a statement to TPM, Fox denied any type of exclusive deal.

Here’s the statement from Fox News executive vice president Michael Clemente:

We have secured the television exclusive to report on the forthcoming book, Clinton Cash, as all major news outlets have done for decades with a multitude of books. There is no exclusive arrangement to ‘pursue story lines’ — we have conducted our own independent research and reporting on the contents of the book. This was the same process we used in securing an advance copy of 13 Hours and Things That Matter, which were both the subject of one-hour FOX News documentaries.

In an email to TPM, NYT Washington bureau chief Carolyn Ryan said “We had access to some material in the book, but we wanted to do our own reporting.”

Jon Stewart unloads on Fox News in exclusive: “Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing … I live in a constant state of depression”

Jon Stewart unloads on Fox News in exclusive: "Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing ... I live in a constant state of depression"

Jon Stewart (Credit: Comedy Central)

Salon

In amazing new interview, Stewart details why he’s leaving, whether he’d ever watch Fox again, and biggest regret

Jon Stewart opens up in a terrific new interview with The Guardian, conducted before and after the announcement that he’ll leave “The Daily Show” this year. It’s the most wide-ranging conversation he’s had since then and gets into his mindset about the 2016 election, his “heartbreak” over a tough Barack Obama interview, and what he’s thinking about for his future.

(The occasion of the interview is the British release of his film “Rosewater.”)

He also has a frank, frightening assessment of Fox News — and a straight answer about whether he’ll ever watch the network again after he leaves the “Daily Show chair.”

Here are the highlights. The whole interview can be found here.

On why he’s leaving “The Daily Show”:

“It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.’ … These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it’s OK. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that’s when you realize, ‘OK, I’m on the back side of it now.’”

On what he’s likely to do in the future:

“I would do what I’m doing. Whether it’s standup, the show, books or films, I consider all this just different vehicles to continue a conversation about what it means to be a democratic nation, and to have it written into the constitution that all men are created equal – but to live with that for 100 years with slaves. How do those contradictions play themselves out? And how do we honestly assess our failings and move forward with integrity?”

On what it’s like watching that much Fox News:

 “Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing. … I live in a constant state of depression. I think of us as turd miners. I put on my helmet, I go and mine turds, hopefully I don’t get turd lung disease.”

Would he ever watch Fox News again:

“(L)et’s say that it’s a nuclear winter, and I have been wandering, and there appears to be a flickering light through what appears to be a radioactive cloud and I think that light might be a food source that could help my family. I might glance at it for a moment until I realize, that’s Fox News, and then I shut it off. That’s the circumstance.”

His biggest “Daily Show” disappointment is not pinning down Donald Rumsfeld in an interview:

“He just went into the general gobbledegook. … I should have pushed, but he’s very adept at deflecting. … That interview with Rumsfeld went shitty, but it’s still just an interview. He’s the one who has to live with the repercussions of what he really did, so there’s nothing that could happen on my show that carries that same level of regret.”

Salon Staff

Top Republicans pretty sure they don’t like Iran deal, whatever it is

Mushroom cloud from a nuclear bomb

Don’t worry, that’s just Tom Cotton formulating his opinion | attribution: Dreamstime

Daily Kos

The Republican reaction to the seemingly very good news that we will not be needing to bomb Iran quite just yet, as told in tweets.

Cotton: “There is no nuclear deal or framework with Iran; there is only a list of dangerous U.S. concessions” http://t.co/…
@ZekeJMiller

If you were watching Fox News right now, as I am, you would have no idea the president just announced a major deal with Iran. None.
@GingerGibson

.@SenatorKirk says of the #IranDeal: “Neville Chamberlain got a better deal from Adolf Hitler.”
@nielslesniewski

Fox News is talking about melanoma, Indiana LGBT law and visiting Cuba. I’ve watched two blocks and haven’t heard the word “Iran” yet.
@GingerGibson

Arizona’s @RepMattSalmon on framework of Iran nuke deal: “Today, it sounds like we’ve set ourselves on a disgraceful path.”
@dannowicki

.@marcorubio says initial details on Iran deal “appear to be very troubling.”http://t.co/…
@learyreports

Fox News reporting on the change in McDonalds grilled chicken recipe. Still no Iran.
@GingerGibson

Congress must be allowed to fully review details of any #Iran agreement before any sanctions are lifted http://t.co/… #IranTalks
@SpeakerBoehner

To be fair, now Fox News is talking about the Iran deal. To criticize it.
@GingerGibson

All right, so that’s one Hitler reference and some breaking chicken sandwich news. Glad we got that cleared up.

Jon Stewart Brilliantly Shreds Fox News Over Its Benghazi ‘Rage-gasm’

The Huffington Post

When Jon Stewart retires from “The Daily Show” later this year, Fox News might be the first in line to throw him a party because being on the wrong end of his wrath night after night can’t be that much fun.

On Thursday, Stewart tore the “fair and balanced” news network to shreds over its repeated demands that Ferguson protesters and their supporters apologize in the wake of a Department of Justice report that found Michael Brown didn’t have his hands up when he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.

“The lesson Fox News is getting at is very clear,” said Stewart. “Wouldn’t it be nice if people who jumped to conclusions and peddled a false, divisive, anger-stoking narrative had to apologize for misleading America?”

So how about Fox News and its “two-year rage-gasm” over Benghazi? As Stewart points out, a report from a Republican-led committee that cleared the Obama administration of just about every conspiracy theory Fox News has been pushing went largely ignored by the network.

Has Fox News apologized for its “tsunami of misinformation?”

Of course not — and, for now anyway, Stewart is still here to remind them of it.

Check out the clip above for the full take-down.

Fox News stands by Bill O’Reilly

Bill O'Reilly is pictured. | Getty

Bill O’Reilly is pictured. | Getty

Politico

If Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has a “Brian Williams problem,” as his detractors hope, it may be one with a different outcome.

In a statement Sunday, a spokesperson for the cable channel said, “Fox News Chairman and C.E.O. Roger Ailes and all senior management are in full support of Bill O’Reilly,” according to The New York Times.

O’Reilly is contesting accusations that he has repeatedly exaggerated his war-reporting experience.

An article by Mother Jones last week claimed that O’Reilly has misled audiences with multiple accounts about his experience reporting for CBS News during the 1982 Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina, and in El Salvador.

O’Reilly never set foot in a war zone like the one he described, the article by Mother Jones asserts, featuring quotes from his CBS contemporaries.

“Nobody got to the war zone during the Falklands war,” CBS News producer Susan Zirinsky told the magazine, adding that the military junta in Argentina prevented American reporters from getting to the islands.

“I never said I was on the Falkland Islands,” O’Reilly said on “The O’Reilly Factor” last Friday. “I said I covered the Falklands, which is what I did.”

“This is such a smear, it is unbelievable,” O’Reilly told Fox News’ Howard Kurtz on his “MediaBuzz” program Sunday.

But since Mother Jones published its article, others have come forward to criticize O’Reilly’s version of events.

Another former colleague pushed back on O’Reilly’s accounts late last week in a lengthy Facebook post.

Eric Engberg, a former CBS News correspondent who covered the aftermath of the Falklands conflict from Buenos Aires, said that O’Reilly’s story about covering a protest in the Argentine capital wasn’t accurate, adding that it was a “relatively tame riot” after Argentina surrendered to the British on the islands.

“It was an ‘expense account zone,’” Engberg wrote.

O’Reilly responded to the post on Sunday, reading from a contemporary New York Times dispatch that recounted police using tear gas to disperse “thousands of angry Argentines who had massed in front of the presidential palace.” Engberg said that the Fox News host’s story about his cameraman getting run down and “bleeding from the ear” could have only happened during that event.

“I don’t think he was there. I don’t think he knows what happened,” O’Reilly said of Engberg, adding that he had requested the video of the protest from CBS News.

CBS News confirmed to Deadline that it is in the process of locating video of the incident O’Reilly is referencing.

Bill O’Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem

Mother Jones

The Fox News host has said he was in a “war zone” that apparently no American correspondent reached.

After NBC News suspended anchor Brian Williams for erroneously claiming that he was nearly shot down in a helicopter while covering the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly went on a tear. On his television show, the top-rated cable news anchor declared that the American press isn’t “half as responsible as the men who forged the nation.” He bemoaned the supposed culture of deception within the liberal media, and he proclaimed that the Williams controversy should prompt questioning of other “distortions” by left-leaning outlets. Yet for years, O’Reilly has recounted dramatic stories about his own war reporting that don’t withstand scrutiny—even claiming he acted heroically in a war zone that he apparently never set foot in.

O’Reilly has repeatedly told his audience that he was a war correspondent during the Falklands war and that he experienced combat during that 1982 conflict between England and Argentina. He has often invoked this experience to emphasize that he understands war as only someone who has witnessed it could. As he once put it, “I’ve been there. That’s really what separates me from most of these other bloviators. I bloviate, but I bloviate about stuff I’ve seen. They bloviate about stuff that they haven’t.”

Fox News and O’Reilly did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Here are instances when O’Reilly touted his time as a war correspondent during the Falklands conflict:

  • In his 2001 book, The No Spin Zone: Confrontations With the Powerful and Famous in America, O’Reilly stated, “You know that I am not easily shocked. I’ve reported on the ground in active war zones from El Salvador to the Falklands.”
  • Conservative journalist Tucker Carlson, in a 2003 book, described how O’Reilly answered a question during a Washington panel discussion about media coverage of the Afghanistan war: “Rather than simply answer the question, O’Reilly began by trying to establish his own bona fides as a war correspondent. ‘I’ve covered wars, okay? I’ve been there. The Falklands, Northern Ireland, the Middle East. I’ve almost been killed three times, okay.'”
  • In a 2004 column about US soldiers fighting in Iraq, O’Reilly noted, “Having survived a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands war, I know that life-and-death decisions are made in a flash.”
  • In 2008, he took a shot at journalist Bill Moyers, saying, “I missed Moyers in the war zones of [the] Falkland conflict in Argentina, the Middle East, and Northern Ireland. I looked for Bill, but I didn’t see him.”

Much more continued here…